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The Lady Vanishes

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The Lady Vanishes

Published 1938 (USA)

From IMDb: Travelers on a trans-European train are delayed for a night due to bad weather in an unnamed country. The passengers cram into the small village hotel where socialite Iris Henderson meets an old governess called Miss Froy. Shortly after the journey restarts, Miss Froy disappears.

Stars: Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave

Run time 97 minutes
Production Company Gainsborough Pictures
Audio/Visual mono, Black & White


Reviewer: Victor1960 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 17, 2014
Subject: masterful
I hugely enjoyed this 1938 film. Obviously the start is slower than we are used to in modern cinema, but keep your patience, in the second half the train starts moving, and so does the plot. And what brilliant finale! With means considered primitive the excellent scenario is executed flawlessly, with utterly convincing acting, with elements of romance and even horror. All this in a dark, pre-WWII atmosphere. Gripping buildup of suspense, perspectives switches and inimitable plot twists. Thank you internet archive!
Reviewer: pogomcl - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 17, 2013
Subject: lady vanishes
great film. the character development is fantastic as well as the dialects. is very good parody at times. the scene in baggage car is brilliant, especially the animals. Mannerisms, dialects all very well studied.
Reviewer: CoreyRuehling - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 20, 2013
Subject: Hitchcock was Still a Master Back Then
Probably my favorite early Hitchcock talkie. Very suspenseful, and it's easy to overlook how unrealistic it can be, which is definitely a good thing in this case.
Reviewer: Jazzy792 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 27, 2012
Subject: Loved It....
Great film, a little slow getting started, but worth the wait...... Love Michael Redgrave as the annoying Gilbert. Favorite quote from the whole film? "Kick him! See if he's got a false bottom!!"
Reviewer: Kevin VandeWettering - - January 22, 2012
Subject: zzzz
Reviewer: jonfrum - favoritefavorite - November 3, 2010
Subject: Big disappointment
As reviewer robcat said, this movie takes 20 minutes just to introduce the characters. I like to think I'm a patient person, but I have to admit I gave up before I met the last character. There is no plot movement whatsoever for the first 20 minutes - at least.

I can't give this movie the lowest possible rating, but I wonder why not. If I can't even sit through the first half of it before tuning out, I must be saving one star ratings for stinkers that make my eyes water. I know it's Hitch and all, but that doesn't stop me from telling the truth. No doubt it gets better, but I didn't stay around to find out.
Reviewer: surfvh - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 10, 2010
Subject: His second best film
His best film was "39 Steps". This film was still very good, though obviously shot on a low budget. The combination of the comedic, romantic by-play between the two lead characters combined with the growing tension of the spy thriller part works well to keep the viewer interested in the film. This is the same technique Hitchcock used so successfully in "39 Steps". In his later films he became formulaic and stiff, and his casting decisions, one-dimensional character development, uninspired, predictable stories, and poor direction were questionable at best, which makes them unwatchable in my opinion. His early films were much superior because his light touch, crisp direction, interesting plots, and thorough character development carry the viewer along and lets the viewer enter into the fun of becoming part of the movie. This movie has interesting twists and turns with the proper mix of suspense, danger, and humor. Download it, watch it, and you won't be dissapointed.
Reviewer: Budro - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 21, 2009
Subject: Good old Alfred!
This film is like a breath of fresh air. Every person in it was great.
Reviewer: elani - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 3, 2008
Subject: Alsacean Hijinks
This is one of my favorite films, though of course it is early Hitchcock, made before he left England and he had not yet developed many of his trademark techniques as a director... Nevertheless, it is great fun--from the singing and dancing, to the skit on back of the train with Michael Redgrave & Margaret Lockwood, to the evil Nazi's who kidnap Ms. Froy played by the insuperable Dame May Witty. As well, the Englishmen obsessed with cricket throughout the film are wonderful. The idea of espionage in the film is so quaint that's it almost vaudevillian.

Camp, precious, winning and absurd.
Reviewer: robcat2075 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 10, 2007
Subject: Hitchcock, but not perfected yet
An amusing movie, butnot as tightly constructed as Hitchcock's later films. It takes 20 minutes just to introduce the characters and the lady who vanishes, the precipitating event for the whole movie, doesn't do so until about 30 minutes in.
That would be the "McGuffin", the thing that happens tht gives an excuse for all the other more interesting events in the movie to happen.

It's interesting how this film is set in a generic central european country that is not stated to be nazi germany but, we suspect, may represent it.

A very impressive miniature shot opens the film.

Among Hitchcock's early films I'd rate this as better than the original "Man who knew too much" but not quite up to the level of "39 steps"
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